There have been reports that substandard and fake products are flooding the local market due to ineffective control machinery. Among them are foodstuffs and medical supplies.
As a result, the health of consumers is at risk due to their side effects. It has been recently established that some people living with HIV/Aids have been using an illegal and fake anti-retroviral drug (ARV) under a brand name TT-VIR 30 in Tarime District, Mara Region.
Following these reports, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare Dr Seif Rashid on October 4 this year confirmed there had been in the country the fake anti-retroviral drug in circulation under a brand name TT-VIR 30.
"On September 21 this year, TFDA carried out a routine inspection at Tarime District Hospital and discovered some fake ARVs with a brand name TT-VIR 30.
"Accordingly, TFDA decided to inspect public health centres in Mara Region and afterwards carried out an intensive inspection in other regions throughout the country in collaboration with security organs between August 6 and 31 this year," he explained.
According to Dr Rashid, the inspection involved the Medical Stores Department (MSD) at the headquarters and the zone and was carried out at the Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TPI Ltd) of Arusha.
"Some drug samples were taken from the company for further laboratory tests and later on it came to light that the drugs (TT-VIR 30) were fake," he noted. According to reliable information, after TFDA discovered unearthed the scandal involving the local drug manufacturing campany (TPI), in the first stage, the second phase of investigation has also been launched to ensure that culprit is taken to task.
The government has decided to take the fake drug (TT-VIR 30) out of the circulation, as the investigations continue. Commenting on this, Dr Rashid said this investigation involving security organs was still going on, noting however, that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare would ensure there was adequate supply of ARVs at all public health centres.
Therefore, he asked people living with HIV/Aids to continue using ARVs since the fake drug (TT-VIR 30) had been removed from the circulation.